“When Tony told me he was stepping down I knew I was going to try and get this job.”
Crescenta Valley Principal Linda Evans said the school made the official step of notifying the school district of Schilling’s promotion to head football coach on Wednesday.
“In my conversations with Paul as he applied for this position, I just became convinced that he understood the past, he was aware of the present and he was prepared to lead into the future,” Evans said. “Paul’s just a great guy.”
Schilling, who teaches English at CV, first joined the Falcons football program as a junior varsity head coach in 1994, a position he retained for five seasons before spending the next two as defensive backs coach for the varsity squad.
He then spent two seasons as a varsity special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at Saugus High near his home in Santa Clarita before returning to begin a second stint at Crescenta Valley in 2003.
“I missed CV so much because that’s where all my friends were,” Schilling said. “That’s when I came back.”
Since then, Schilling has worn several hats at various times, including freshman and junior varsity head coach and most recently varsity defensive coordinator under Zarrillo, who accepted an early retirement offer from the school district in late-January.
“I knew that he was the leading candidate and rightfully so,” Zarrillo said. “He’s a great person, he is a wonderful football coach and he is great with the kids.
“He is the perfect person for this job. He knows exactly what he wants to do and how to do it.”
Schilling was the defensive coordinator for a Falcons team that went 8-4, finished third in the Pacific League and made it to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals for the second straight year last season.
“One of my biggest reasons for wanting to do this was for the kids to keep everything as much the same as we possibly can,” said Schilling, who added that last year’s coaching staff will remain essentially intact. “There will be little adjustment for the kids. They already know me and it should be a pretty smooth transition.”